As promised, here are the answers to the questions most frequently asked about RichmondBargains.com!
“So you’re like Living Social?”
Not really. Don’t get me wrong, I love daily deal sites like Groupon and Living Social. But, at least currently, I don’t sell certificates like they do. Instead, I summarize the local offerings every day from daily deal sites. I also work with local companies to offer special deals to readers on the Coupons and Offers section, but you can get those deals by contacting the companies directly and mentioning Richmond Bargains. My focus on this site simply passing along information – tips on how Richmonders can save money.
“Soooo, how do you make money?”
(A great question to consider when visiting any website, or getting anything of value for “free”!) Well, first and foremost, I write this blog because I love helping friends and neighbors get great deals. That’s why I started writing in 2008, and that will always be what motivates me. However, I am trying to develop the website as a business as well, to cover operating costs and some of the amount of time I lavish on the blog. The small income I currently make comes from advertising revenue (Google ads and direct relationships with businesses), teaching classes about coupons and saving money, freelancing for RVANews, and affiliate links (when you purchase a Groupon or Living Social deal through one of my links, it supports the site). I am primarily interested in developing relationships with local businesses, so if you know of one that would benefit from more exposure, please let them know about Richmond Bargains!
“Wow, how much time does that take?”
Short answer: A lot. It’s perhaps an hour of writing on an average weekday. Plus miscellaneous time spent researching – that’s jumbled together amidst my email accounts, Facebook feed, Twitter feed, etc. Lately, I’ve been confined to doing site-work in the evenings after everyone else has gone to bed, because the boys just keep me too busy during the day. If you are missing an email reply from me, that’s why. If you notice that there are visual elements that need fixing, that’s why. What you might not realize is how much communication time goes into the site as well. That’s been the biggest surprise to me as Richmond Bargains has grown, is how much of my time gets taken up with conversing with PR people, potential advertisers, current advertisers, people sending me tips, etc. (Currently accepting applications for interns 😉 ) No supermom here – my house, my sleep, or my social schedule, sometimes all three, suffer from time to time because of blogging.
And last but probably the most popular:
“How do you find out about the deals?”
Research, research, research. I get mileage out of my mailing list email addresses (I have two – one general, and one Richmond-specific) and sign up for emails from businesses all around town. I also “like” their Facebook pages. I subscribe to a number of national deal sites and blogs. And I make myself to listen to radio commericals and notice newspaper ads. A small but growing percent come from tips from readers, which are very welcome. Special thanks to folks like Jonah, Anita, Michelle, Wes and others who keep sending stuff my way! I’ve noticed an uptick in people sharing deals on the Facebook page, which is wonderful, because then others can benefit even if I don’t get a chance to post all of them.
P.S. Not really a question, but I hear “I love you guys” a lot. For the sake of clarity, Richmond Bargains is me and no army. Just Alison 🙂